AP College Football Poll 2018: Top 25 Rankings for Week 15

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistDecember 2, 2018

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 01:  Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide and Jalen Hurts #2 react after defeating the Georgia Bulldogs 35-28 in the 2018 SEC Championship Game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 1, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Associated Press released its weekly college football poll on Sunday, offering a potential preview of the College Football Playoff committee's rankings later in the day.

Below, we'll review the latest AP poll and survey the college football landscape heading into bowl season.

          

Rankings

1. Alabama

2. Clemson

3. Notre Dame

4. Oklahoma

5. Ohio State

6. Georgia

7. UCF

8. Michigan

9. Washington 

10. Florida

11. LSU

12. Washington State

13. Penn State

14. Texas

15. West Virginia

16. Kentucky

17. Syracuse

18. Mississippi State

19. Fresno State

20. Utah

21. Texas A&M

22. Army

23. Boise State

24. Missouri 

25. Iowa State

               

Analysis

A few things coming into Sunday were certain: Alabama, Clemson and Notre Dame were going to top the rankings, in some order, after all finishing undefeated. UCF wasn't going to climb into the top four despite a second consecutive undefeated season. And either Ohio State or Oklahoma would end up heartbroken. 

The AP made its decision of which of those two teams should be left out of the playoff. Whether the College Football Playoff committee agrees remains to be seen. 

Both Ohio State and Oklahoma finished as one-loss conference champions after wins on Saturday. Ohio State has the best win (Michigan). Oklahoma has the better loss (Texas) and avenged it in the Big 12 title game.

In terms of strength of schedule, Oklahoma has the advantage:

Nonetheless, Ohio State is the favorite to earn the fourth bid, per ESPN Stats & Information:

Consult the eye test, however, and there's perhaps a case to be made that neither Ohio State nor Oklahoma should get in over Georgia.

No, the Bulldogs aren't conference champions. Yes, they've lost twice. But those losses came on the road at LSU and by one touchdown in the SEC championship game against Alabama. 

And more than a few folks believe Georgia is the most deserving team for the fourth playoff bid:

The committee would ruffle some major feathers if it chose Georgia, but it's hard to argue the Bulldogs don't at least make a case for being a better overall team than either Ohio State or Oklahoma. Even with the season ending in heartbreak, Georgia could yet have redemption.

It seems unlikely, but it's a debate the committee will have to resolve.

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